Vector illustration of a BNC cable assembly

The Best SDI Cables (2024)

This is a complete list of pre-built BNC cable assemblies I use and trust for SMPTE SDI transmission between cameras, video switchers, routers, converters, monitors, recorders, and more.

Blue Jeans Cable 12G-SDI

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The best overall SDI cable assembly for most situations.

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A rock-solid cable that is...

  • Built with my top pick coax and BNC connectors
  • Rated for every current SMPTE standard up to, and including, 12G-SDI
  • Built by a trusted cable maker based in Seattle, Washington with more than 20 years in the industry

Put simply, this cable will cover a vast majority of needs and work well for many years to come.

Be aware that this cable is quite stiff and not the easiest to manage, making it better for permanent installs and static mobile applications. So don't assume it will work well for things like mobile cameras.


Belden 4694R SMPTE Transmission Distances

*Distance provided from updated testing that allows for 40dB loss at 1/2 the clock frequency.

HD-SDI 383' / 117m
3G-SDI* 538' / 164m
6G-SDI 374' / 114m
12G-SDI 257' / 78m

Blue Jeans Cable 4694R Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor, Riser
Available Lengths 25', 50', 100'

Blue Jeans Cable 6G-SDI

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The best value SDI cable assembly made with industry-standard coax.

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I have purchased and used dozens of these exact cables over the last decade and I can attest to their quality and dependability.

This is a quality cable that is...

  • Made with my runner-up pick coax and BNC connectors
  • Rated for SMPTE standards up to, and including, 6G-SDI
  • Built by a trusted cable maker based in Seattle, Washington with more than 20 years in the industry

If you don't anticipate needing 12G-SDI capability and want to save a few bucks compared to the top pick above, then look no further!


Belden 1694A SMPTE Transmission Distances

*Distance provided from updated testing that allows for 40dB loss at 1/2 the clock frequency.

HD-SDI 367' / 112m
3G-SDI* 509' / 155m
6G-SDI 340' / 104m
12G-SDI Not Rated

Blue Jeans Cable 1694A Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor, Outdoor, Riser
Available Lengths 25', 50', 75', 100', 150', 200', 300'

Monoprice Viper

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The best budget SDI cable assembly.

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I'm aware this breaks my rule by not having published ratings for SMPTE standards. 😱

But, I get it. Sometimes you just need to get the job done with the least expense possible.

If you only need up to 100' of cable, only need to support 3G-SDI or less, and the cable will not be in a mission-critical position then this low-cost solution is an option.

However, along with having no published ratings for SMPTE SDI transmission distances, this cable also has no published ratings or certifications for through-wall, in-wall, riser, or plenum applications. So unfortunately I cannot recommend this cable for permanent installation in, or through, structures as well.

But I do appreciate that Monoprice uses a pure copper conductor. That alone is better than nearly all other budget options that use copper-clad steel or other cost-cutting materials.


Monoprice Viper RG-6 SMPTE Transmission Distances
HD-SDI Not Rated
3G-SDI Not Rated
6G-SDI Not Rated
12G-SDI Not Rated

Monoprice Viper RG-6 Specifications
Environment Indoor
Available Lengths 1.5', 3', 6', 10', 15', 25', 50', 75', 100'

Blue Jeans Cable RG-7

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The best SDI cable assembly money can buy.

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Not only is this behemoth one of the most capable coax cables ever made, it can double as a weapon! 🥷

  • Made with my premium pick coax and BNC connectors
  • Rated for every current SMPTE standard
  • Built by a trusted cable maker based in Seattle, Washington with more than 20 years in the industry

Just be aware that this coax is THICC and quite stiff so it's not the easiest to handle, especially in mobile environments.

But it is straight up 💪!


Belden 4794R SMPTE Transmission Distances

*Distance provided from updated testing that allows for 40dB loss at 1/2 the clock frequency.

HD-SDI 494' / 151m
3G-SDI* 686' / 209m
6G-SDI 471' / 144m
12G-SDI 321' / 98m

Blue Jeans Cable 4794R Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor, Riser
Available Lengths 25', 50', 100'

AV-Cables Mini 12G-SDI

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A top-performing SDI cable assembly that is great for racks and tight spaces.

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A much smaller diameter and more flexible coax than the RG-6 and RG-7 options above, but still rated for all current SMPTE standards including 12G-SDI.

  • Made with Belden 4855R, an industry standard mini RG-59 coax, and Belden connectors
  • Made by a trusted U.S.-based cable maker in Ohio

This solution is perfect for use inside racks and tight areas.


Belden 4855R SMPTE Transmission Distances

*Distance provided from updated testing that allows for 40dB loss at 1/2 the clock frequency.

HD-SDI 221' / 67m
3G-SDI* 310' / 94m
6G-SDI 215' / 66m
12G-SDI 149' / 45m

AV-Cables Mini 12G-SDI Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor, Riser
Available Lengths 1', 1.5', 3', 6', 10', 15', 25', 35', 50', 75', 100', 150'

Blue Jeans Cable Flexible 6G-SDI

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The best flexible SDI cable assembly for mobile cameras.

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When you need a nimble cable that is still durable for mobile applications, this flexible RG-59 is your answer.

  • Made with Belden 1505F, a high quality flexible coax, and Canare crimp connectors
  • Rated for SMPTE standards up to, and including, 6G-SDI
  • Built by a trusted cable maker based in Seattle, Washington with more than 20 years in the industry

But, don't be fooled! This cable is still no slouch for SDI transmission distance.


Belden 1505F SMPTE Transmission Distances

*Distance provided from updated testing that allows for 40dB loss at 1/2 the clock frequency.

HD-SDI 223' / 68m
3G-SDI* 300' / 91m
6G-SDI 197' / 60m
12G-SDI Not Rated

Blue Jeans Cable 1505F Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor
Available Lengths 5', 10', 15', 25', 50', 100'

Alvin's Cables Coiled 3G-SDI

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The best SDI cable assembly for camera setups.

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Alvin Zhu and his company make excellent cables for specialty configurations and needs, and these cables work splendidly for camera builds.

The coiled cables minimize snags and the straight or 90º connector combinations provide customizable options to create a clean and efficient configuration.


Alvin's Cables 3G-SDI Assembly Specifications
Environment Indoor
Available Options 90º to 90º Coiled
90º to 90º Non-coiled
Straight to 90º Coiled
Straight to 90º Non-coiled
Straight to Straight Non-coiled

Why You Can Trust Me

I have more than 24 years of broadcast television, international filmmaking, and corporate video production experience. I started my career as a freelance camera operator for major U.S. television networks including ABC, FOX Sports, and Speed Channel. Since then I have run countless miles of cabling for SDI in all kinds of mobile productions and permanent installs. In addition, I have spent the last decade running this website and consulting with other organizations to help them maximize their systems and results. Learn more about Joel

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